The European Commission has partnered with other bodies to establish a €100m investment fund for clean energy innovation projects.
The Commission, along with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Breakthrough Energy Ventures, an investor-led fund designed to support innovation in the energy sector, launched the Breakthrough Energy Ventures Europe (BEV-E) fund at the fourth Mission Innovation Ministerial meeting in Vancouver, Canada. The fund, implemented with a €50m investment from Breakthrough Energy Ventures and €50m from the EIB, guaranteed by the EU’s financial instrument InnovFin, will support clean energy initiatives aimed at delivering ‘significant and lasting’ solutions to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.
The Commission’s Vice President for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič said: “Business as usual is not an option. We need to boost our investments with more than 500 billion euro each year to achieve a carbon neutral economy by 2050. I am pleased that our pilot cooperation with Breakthrough Energy has taken off so fast. This is pioneering work: aligning private and public investment in cutting-edge innovation, to the benefit of the Energy Union and our climate.”
BEV-E is expected to begin delivering investments in the second half of 2019, with funding directed to five primary sectors: electricity generation and delivery; agriculture; manufacturing and industry; buildings and infrastructure; and transport. Funding will be made available to all EU Member States and third countries associated with the Horizon 2020 programme.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Chairman of Breakthrough Energy Ventures, said: “Breakthrough Energy Ventures-Europe is a great example of driving innovative ways for the private and public sectors to collaborate, deploy capital, and build companies. We have the resources to make a meaningful difference, and the flexibility to move quickly. That’s a rare and powerful combination.”
The establishment of the BEV-E project is in line with the Commission’s ‘Clean Energy for All Europeans’ package, which commits the EU’s authoritative bodies and Member States to promote the development of innovative clean energy technologies.
Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: “By setting up the Breakthrough Energy Ventures Europe fund in record time, we are delivering on our commitment to boost public-private investments in clean energy innovation. It is only through joining forces across sectors and continents that we can tackle climate change and build a sustainable future.”